The Holiday season is here! And although it is a magical time of year, it is also a very busy season for most. It is easy to get set up for the Holidays and then become so busy we forget basic safety tips for our home and belongings. Lights and decorations may complete your winter look, but it is important to not overlook the safety tips that go along with them. And for people who travel frequently during the Holidays, there are also tips that can help you keep your home safe while away with friends and family.
Christmas Tree Safety
Whether your household prefers artificial trees, or you spring for the real deal, there are multiple safety tips to keep in mind. If you keep a live tree in the house, it is recommended to keep it far from reach of a heat source. This includes appliances such a fireplaces, radiators or heaters. A live tree requires water, just as plants do. Keeping your live tree hydrated can reduce its chances of catching fire, as well!
If you have an artificial tree, it is a good idea to make sure that it is labeled as “fire resistant”. And always keeping a fire extinguisher in the house is beneficial as well!
As magical, and lengthy, as the process may be, checking your lights each year before decorating can reduce your chance of having an electrical fire due to frayed or broken wires! If you are buying new wires, search for the flame-resistant label. If you are taking out your old lights and noticing kinks, frays or open wires then dispose of that set and replace them. Check for broken bulbs as well; you can replace them separately rather than the whole strand of lights. Turn your lights off while away from home, even for the workday, and when you go to bed- this will prevent an electrical fire from happening when there is no one there to respond.
As you are setting up your lights, be sure to not use nails or screws, as they can damage the cords and be the cause of a fire. When hanging all decorations, be sure to work with a team! It is much easier to string lights and decorations when you have assistance. Especially on items in dangerous positions such as the roof, gutters, top of the tree, or in trees.
If you plan to hang ornaments on the tree or around the house, be aware of your audience and potential guests. If you have a child or pet, low hanging or breakable ornaments in general are not a good decision. You should place them out of the reach of children and pets if you plan to use them! If you use fake food or tiny decorations around the house, be sure that they are well out of reach of both as well!
Holidays are full of cheer, decorations and travels. Whether you are gone for one night, a week or a few hours, there are a few decorating and traveling situations to be aware of. You should keep your travels private. Sharing with your neighbors can be beneficial so they can keep an eye on your home but try to avoid sharing with large audiences or on social media platforms. This keeps burglars in the dark about whether the house is empty or not. Asking your neighbors to grab your mail and packages can also give the illusion that you are home.
Although setting your beautiful tree in a window for display seems like a harmless idea, it can entice thieves to enter your home if you place gifts under the tree early. They can see the amount and sizes and decide whether they want to enter your home and take the gifts. Setting up your tree in a secluded place or keeping presents hidden until the morning of can be an easy way to avoid a situation like that. Another easy way to give the impression of being home is leaving a tv or radio on; this minimizes the quiet household appearance. As does having lights set on timers if able!
The Holiday season is one to enjoy; full of cheer, dinners, decorations, family and friends. Don’t forget that some of our favorite aspects of the Holidays can be the most dangerous. Taking extra safety precautions at the beginning of the season can easily prevent tragedies near the end. Keep your home and family safe this season and be prepared for every situation!